The inshore bite has been good as 2013 is winding down! The weather has been up and down as the seasons begin to change. For the most, conditions on the coast have been favorable for fishing. Schoolie redfish are on flats towards the sounds as well, more inland as well as upriver. Muddy water can put the sea trout down. As tides build areas that more susceptible to muddy conditions have gone from a strong bite to practically nothing. Clean water and adequate current are important in finding a good sea trout bite. Relatively mild conditions has meant a good but spread out bite.
Bait shops are still finding shrimp but that can quickly change as colder weather approaches. Those casting for food shrimp have done exceptionally well with deep water casting.
When water conditions are clear anticipate the sheepshead to go deep. For now the inshore bite is still looking good. Sheepshead will travel between inshore and offshore as the season change. This a seasonal spawning pattern for sheepshead. Action has been pretty good both inshore and offshore.
As conditions continues to cool down anticipate large reds on the flats. Fishing on the flats can heat up during the winter! The sun will warm the flats on low tide. As water pushes in reds and sea trout will be drawn the warmer water in search of favorable conditions that provide and easy meal. On days with little cloud coverage, clear water and little currents light tackle can be advantage. Light carolina rigs or jigs fished on or near the bottom can be effective. Schoolie reds can look a little slim this time of year. Bait is becoming scarce and their metabolism is slowing. This said as conditions warm its possible to see the fish turning on. Redfish with blue tails could be an indicator conditions are getting right and the bite might turning on. Catching redfish in shallow water produces good noise. A thrashing red might turn on the school. Now instead of finicky, spooky you have just the opposite fish that will eat about anything. Noise be a big factor. Eliminate most of the bad noise (banging, clanging and unnatural sounds) and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of catching winter time fish.
I hope this of interest and help! Keep what you want to eat and release the rest!
Capt. Jack McGowan